Topic: North Korean Aviation / Air Koryo Update (Nov 2012
Posted 2012-11-06 04:06:43 and read 1509 times.
Since the previous thread was archived, here's a new one.
Big news is, Air Koryo's website is finally live. It offers online booking, seat reservation and information about the airline. Hard to see how it could actually be used for real as it is really only possible to visit the DPRK as part of a group tour which always includes air transport. It's easy to visit in that way, but spontaneous, unaccompanied visits simply aren't possible. There is a desire within the DPRK to lift restrictions on what is possible for visitors so perhaps this website is the precursor to a new freedom for foreigners.
Non-Chinese visitor numbers have doubled in the past few years so the need for much larger aeroplanes still exists. Secondhand Il-96 is still the most likely.
Despite some rumours of the Il-62 stopping international flying at the end of 2013, the Cubana Il-62 that was ferried to Pyongyang and reregistered P-886P earlier this year is now being taken apart for spares - upper panels of wings are missing, couple of exits and a cargo door are gone etc. Suggests Air Koryo are very much committed to the type.
All four enthusiasts' trips operated by Juche Travel Services in 2012 have now been completed successfully. Il-76 a highlight, along with the unexpected degree of access to the ramp for photos.
FYI here is the info for 2013 trips copied from an email from Juche Travel Services:
11th - 18th May 2013
15th - 22nd June 2013
14th - 21st September 2013
19th - 26th October 2013
Beijing – Pyongyang: Ilyushin Il-62
Pyongyang – Samjiyon (return, 2 legs): Ilyushin Il-18
Pyongyang – Sondok (return, 1 leg each): Tupolev Tu-134 and Antonov An-24
Pyongyang – Sondok (return, 2 legs): Tupolev Tu-154
Pyongyang – Pyongyang (joyride, 1 leg): Ilyushin Il-62*
Pyongyang – Pyongyang (joyride, 1 leg): Ilyushin Il-76*
Pyongyang – Beijing: Tupolev Tu-204
* extra €250 per flight
The price also includes visa, all accomodation, all meals (with beer and water), guides, surface transport (inc daytrip to the DMZ, the border with S Korea). Basically you can get on the Il-62 at the start of the trip with empty pockets and get off the Tu-204 a week later without having to borrow a single €. Brings new meaning to "all inclusive". Oh, unless you want to do kareoke - that's extra.
More info / book at http://www.juchetravelservices.com